The atmosphere at White Hart Lane has been a hot topic since AVB’s post Hull City comments. Since that Sunday evening, WHL has played host to two 1882 events and brought the movement and its ethos into the spotlight. However, mystery still surrounds the movement with some new to the premise confused and unaware of what it stands for.
We are all Spurs fans, and therefore regardless of whether a person is affiliated with 1882 or not they deserve a voice.
This week we received an email from a season ticket holder who has highlighted some fans primary concerns and a request for information on 1882 stance and position within the club.
These are not necessarily my own views, more an attempt to understand what may be the source of resentment/disaffection and derision from some aimed at what are certainly best intentioned Spurs fans.
I would like to state that I am an agenda free, long standing ST holder who has participated in one 1882 game against Espanyol, which was an immense and unbridled fun experience.
Why would anyone have any issue with singing and the 1882 movement?
This seems to be the question on many fans minds. “It’s just a good natured, well intentioned laugh, noise, singing for the shirt, trying to drum up an atmosphere in a sterile stadium.” Isn’t it? Well…
Not everyone goes to the game to sing. That’s just the way it is and always has been. There are many ways to consume the match – studying the players, tactics, or developing game with rigid fixed attention from a seat, with an unobscured view.
Having paid a princely sum for it, it is every single fans right to enjoy the game in whatever way they choose without it being compromised or spoilt for them by the actions of others. Your enjoyment should not affect anyone else’s. That’s just decent manners and respect for others.
Choosing not to sing, for whatever reason, is not a criminal offence. It does not indicate less passion, it does not make you a “worse fan” and critically, it’s nothing to do with anyone else. The unpleasant, misguided and nasty labelling, primarily on Twitter, of some ST holders as “old and boring” who should “f**k off if they don’t like it” is not the language of inclusive, shared fandom.
It’s divisive, judgmental, offensive and damaging. Dare I suggest that an awful lot of these old, boring farts kept the faith through two dark decades of being served up appalling football, sub standard players and a barren wasteland devoid of any prospect of trophies.
They were not seduced to WHL by a superstar player single handedly taking Internazionale apart. They spent their away days travelling up to Oldham on a wet night in the hope of gaining a point or three in a fight to avoid relegation. The also used to turn up with less than 20,000 others at the Lane talking about a win that might lift us into the top half. These “boring old killjoys” did the hard yards and rather than disdain, they probably deserve some respect.
The unpleasant, misguided and nasty labelling, primarily on Twitter, of some ST holders as “old and boring” who should “f**k off if they don’t like it” is not the language of inclusive, shared fandom.
If the Club are serious about engaging with 1882 they need to improve communication to non 1882 participants when buying seats in allocated blocks at the point of purchase. At the Espanyol game there were many families who had an awful day-out surrounded by intimidating (to them) behaviour.
Many kids saw nothing of that game – a game that was no doubt chosen by “Dad” as a safe bet, where his 6 year old could sit in comfort and taste the Lane for the first time.
I saw a few families walk out. Whilst we know it’s a raucous sing-song, it doesn’t look that way when you’re three feet tall submerged in ticker tape and surrounded by blokes with no shirts on, holding their shoes in the air. The ticket office must be encouraged to inform buyers of seats in an 1882 block that it is “set aside” and not suitable for families with young kids etc.
A tiny proportion of songs sung are of a highly questionable tone – it’s a dangerous game to seek to occupy some kind of moral high ground by proclaiming “You used to sing down there” to the assembled die-hards in the Park Lane lower. This will never win any friends and could give credence to those that might consider 1882 as a nouveau or hipster and a by-product of Skyball and nothing whatsoever to do with being a fan. “Who do they think they are?” would be an unsurprising thought.
The perception of “self appointed game changers, waltzing in to ‘our’ ground and deciding what’s what” is I’m sure, wide of the mark and wholly misplaced. I do think however, there’s more than a few that may be thinking that.
For whatever reason, there is a hint of them and us. Perhaps the positioning and projection of 1882 needs a tweak, the message could perhaps be more inclusive, “come join us,” “all in this together” etc. A lack of open-mindedness and humility is probably more apparent than real but in seeking to dilute any resistance or suspicion about motives it might be something to address?
I love what 1882 are trying to do and I have immense respect and admiration for the energy, determination, balls and sheer joy they exude in trying to do something to reverse and renew the atmosphere at the Lane.
I wish I was 18 again and as willfully excited about making some noise. I think they are a source of pride. They should be applauded, supported and encouraged – but they are us and we are them. That might be the nub of it for me.”
[author name=”Paul Johnson” avatar=”https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/378800000678546103/5fb5e5187f53be1fcc4b4a90076b7042.jpeg” twitter=”SniersMoregut[/linequote]